Venue Features: Buzz Lockleaze, Bristol

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At Zipcube, we’re often impressed by how many unique spaces there are out there in the UK and elsewhere. One of the best parts of what we do is getting the opportunity to speak to venues and find out more about these individual gems hidden away in (sometimes) unexpected places.

Buzz Lockleaze is a great example: a small venue making a big difference to its community. Housed in a former Post Office, the team at Buzz have been working hard since 2014 to empower local residents and help people develop their job skills. We chatted with Sarah King, who handles marketing and social media for the venue, to find out more…

Can you tell us a bit about the history of Buzz and what it does?

SK: Our organisation is situated in the heart of Lockleaze and occupies a four storey building comprising a community café, health food shop, an allotment-sized garden and enterprise space.

Buzz Lockleaze CIC was set up in 2014 and we acquired the building on Gainsborough Square as an asset-locked community transfer from North Bristol Advice Centre. Buzz café and shop was set up, as well as our Employment Project, in an effort to address the local unemployment and food poverty rates. Historically, the building was a Post Office and lots of people from the community still walk in and remember how it used to look before – which gives the building a bit of a sense of nostalgia.

On the ground floor is the café/shop and access to the garden at the rear, we are also developing our basement space to provide further seating for the café and it will serve as event space for activities, workshops and meetings.

How would you describe the core aims of what you do at Buzz Lockleaze?

SK: Buzz Lockleaze CIC is a social enterprise with a focus on employability & enterprise support, and improving wellbeing through all things to do with healthy food provision. We are trying to address the economic and social inequalities of Lockleaze, including unemployment, health and wellbeing, and aim to offer a local place where people can come and relax in a safe space. Through our older people’s project we are working to reduce social isolation and engage a wide range of generations in activities and clubs.

Have you found that hiring out your spare space for hot-desking or meetings has been helpful?

SK: The people we’ve met through hiring out the meeting room and through hot desking have really made the experience worthwhile. It’s great to be able to offer our space to them and show them what we’re all about, we especially love to see the space used by other social enterprises or SMEs.

The offer of renting the space has also attracted more people that wouldn’t have come to Buzz otherwise and who didn’t know we were here. They get to hang out in the café and pick up a few things from the shop, and they also know they can get support with employment, enterprise, training, etc.

What has been the most enjoyable experience you’ve had while working at Buzz?

SK: I would say getting to meet all the local people over time, as they discover Buzz and find ways to get involved and connect with us. It’s great to see someone come through the doors just for a coffee and end up joining the gardening club or receiving a business grant from us.

What are the greatest challenges you face as a social enterprise?

SK: Our main challenges at Buzz are securing steady streams of income. The low footfall in the area means that we can’t make as much profit as we’d like from the café and shop, and we rely heavily on the funding we receive to keep things going. We also have marketing limitations, as we can’t compete with other cafes/shops who can afford big budget marketing campaigns and advertising. We try to promote our services locally and hope that word-of-mouth will keep people coming back!

5 Beautiful Baby Shower Venues in London

Once upon a time, baby showers were seen as a uniquely American tradition: the kind of thing an expectant mother would only get up to if they also celebrated Labor Day and the 4th of July.

But like a lot of traditions which have begun to make their way across the Atlantic, baby showers are being embraced by parents-to-be in the UK as a fun way to celebrate the impending arrival of their newborn.  Before the sleepless nights and endless nappy changes makes celebrating an unlikely luxury.

If you’re helping to organise a baby shower – either for yourself, a close friend or family member – we’ve put together a selection of fantastic venues in which to exchange gifts and play parlour games: all available to book online through Zipcube.

1. Gallery 2

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If you’re looking for an elegant space which still feels intimate and warm, then we would strongly recommend Gallery 2 at The Pelham Hotel. The hotel itself is the epitome of five-star refinement and this gorgeous meeting suite blends old-fashioned elegance with a modern style sensibility.

2. Betty Blythe

 

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If cupcakes and vintage bunting are more your sort of thing, then you can take a step into the 1920s at Betty Blythe’s Tea Room. The team over at Betty’s pride themselves on hosting themed parties and events which can transport you back to the golden age of flapper dresses and Art Deco indulgence.

3. The Nash Room

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Do you prefer cool interiors and plush furnishings? If you want a baby shower that has an air of Arts & Crafts style to it, then The Nash Room might be just what you’re looking for. Exchange presents and share a laugh with your nearest and dearest in an exquisitely presented drawing room.

4. The Rib Room

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Are your parents-to-be closet foodies? Do you think they’d appreciate a spot of fine dining alongside the baby shower itself? The Rib Room is a choice spot for those who enjoy private dining as a crucial add-on to any major celebration.

5. SAMA

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Of course, a baby shower doesn’t have to be a tea and cake affair. Those who are with child may not be able to drink, but that’s not to say they won’t want everyone else to enjoy some tipple and make merry. If you’d like more of a party atmosphere for your shower, then the upstairs Arch Space at SAMA can be hired out privately. It makes an ideal space for dancing and frivolity.

What makes a good meeting room…

Here at zipcube.com we know how tough it can be to find the perfect meeting room for your event. Luckily, we have had quite a lot of experience at this now and have put together a little guide to help you in choosing that venue.

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  1. Location, location, location. It is an old saying, but that doesn’t make it any less accurate today. You need to choose somewhere that is convenient for everyone coming to the meeting, not just for you. Access to public transport is essential these days when making a decision as to where to hold the meeting.
  2. Your Budget. Have a budget ready before you start your search, but make sure it a realistic budget or you are going to be searching for something that doesn’t exist. If you are holding a meeting for 20 people in central London… you aren’t getting a room for £20/hour. Remember, you get what you pay for. Spending that little bit more might mean your meeting goes much better overall.
  3. Size. You can’t compromise on this. If you have 12 people, get a room that can accommodate 12 people. Don’t decide that you will squash into a 10-person room. This will lead to an unpleasant meeting for all involved.
  4. Refreshments. How long is your meeting? All day? Well, you are probably going to need to keep your attendees fed and watered, unless you want a lot of grumpy people sat around a table. Keep this in mind when picking your venue as not all will necessarily offer catering.
  5. Facilities. Most meeting rooms on zipcube.com do have some form of AV facility, but it is important to make sure that your room does have everything you need for the meeting you have planned. It can be easy to overlook something, like disabled access or use of a microphone, when booking a room, so make a list beforehand of everything you need.
  6. The décor. What type of meeting are you holding? What type of impression are you trying to give? These are things you need to consider when deciding on your room. Some rooms are better suited to brainstorming, creative meetings. Some rooms are better suited to executive, professional board meetings.
  7. Recommendations. Here on zipcube.com everyone that uses a meeting room has the ability to review the room afterwards, so pay attention to what they say. Our staff also spend all day on the phone to venues and venue bookers, so they tend to know what they are talking about, since they want you to have a good meeting and come back to us, they are going to recommend venues which they know can meet all your requirements.

How to get your events trending.

 

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You have a large event taking place in the coming weeks and you have been tasked with getting it trending on social media… How do you go about making sure that the right people are following it and that they engage in conversations about it, in the build up to the event, and on the day?

There is no doubt that you will have dozens of other things happening to do with the event… and well, not to do with the event, because we know the rest of the world doesn’t stop turning just because you aren’t in the office that day.

 

Firstly, if you are going to take this seriously, then you need to make sure either you, or someone else, is the designated social media manager on the day. In the run up to the event, sure, everyone can chip in, but on the day… you will need one person looking after social media, and that will have to be their only role.

  • They need to make sure that they know the days running order perfectly so that they can post the appropriate content at the right time. Even better, have it all prescheduled through a social media tool well in advance, so that they can spend their time actually replying to people and driving those all-important conversations.
  • Have a decent amount of content ready to go… you know what the likely questions are going to be, so have responses ready so you can just paste them in.
  • It sounds obvious but make sure that all the platforms are ready to go, far too often people just focus on one platform and miss out on a huge amount of potential interest.

 

Contests. These are always a great way to stir up interest in your event. The more exciting and unique the prize, the more interest you are likely to generate. These contests can take several different forms and there is no limit on the number you can have running concurrently as long as you have the prizes to dish out… (competitions are an art form all of their own, and we will be putting together a list of dos and don’ts for this very soon.)

  • The most basic is just a tweet containing the hashtag that you have assigned to the event, but why not make it more interesting than that add a leaderboard, the more tweets with the hashtag that a user makes, the higher they climb… keep track of it openly and get some competition flowing.
  • Take a photo with a certain person (warn that person!) to enter.
  • Caption contests can be good fun… but know your audience here, this can go horribly wrong, as Shell learned with their “Arctic Ready” campaign.
  • Fastest fingers… quiz your followers about the event and the first one to respond wins. Simple.

Make sure your content is interesting, and is delivered with a punch. Posts with images get a lot more views, favourites and a hell of a lot more retweets. Get someone posting photos of the speakers, the networking and some of the parties going on. The more images and exciting content that you can get out there, the more likely people are to post their own experiences as well. Get some videos loaded onto your channels as well. Maybe have someone on your team wandering around the event taking photos of attendees and then sending them directly to them on twitter or Instagram… this is also a great way to capture leads!

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Choose those Hashtags carefully.

  • Make sure you check every possible way that the # can be read, otherwise you could end up with some embarrassing tweets being added to your event.
  • Keep the # short and simple, people need those extra characters for their tweets.
  • Educate the audience; make sure that everyone knows the # before they arrive, at the very least as they enter the event. Why not encourage people to start using the # before the event itself, let them know that they can start using it for networking before the event. You can also run a pre-event competition to get the # out there early on.
  • Showing social media up on screens around the event will encourage people to use the # in hopes of seeing their message up on the screen.

 

Got a sponsor? Get them using the hashtag as well. Get them running competitions where entrants need to use your hashtag to enter; it is win win for you and the sponsor as both of your coverage will increase across social media.

Got a big guest? Same rules apply.

8 ways to make your meeting more productive

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We have all been to that meeting where you aren’t sure exactly why you are there. We have all struggled to keep our eyes open throughout a meeting which seems to go on forever.

Your time is valuable, and if you want your company to succeed so is everyone else’s time too. We have put together some little tips to help you make sure that your meetings actually have a positive contribution.

  1. First, meet face-to-face (if you can). It isn’t always possible as companies can often have people all across the globe, but when you have the opportunity, do try and meet in person. There really isn’t a substitute for facetime. It is far too easy to let your mind wander when you are in the room… let alone when you aren’t there in person. You would be surprised how important body language is when making decisions and having a productive meeting.
  2. Unplug. Not only are tech tools often distracting but a number of studies have shown that students who use their laptops rather than making old fashioned handwritten notes have a significantly harder time remembering what was said.
  3. Have a plan. Making sure that you actually have a reason to meet is important. Get that reason written down, shared with all attendees. There is no point getting off track, you are having the meeting for a reason, so why not actually focus on that reason instead of meandering your way through an entire morning and achieving nothing.
  4. The guest list. Don’t invite people for the sake of it; try to forget about office politics and only invite the people that really need to be there. We have all been to meetings where we aren’t sure exactly why we are there, it wastes everyone’s time.
  5. Ban or at least limit PowerPoint. PP can be a great tool to AID your meeting, but it shouldn’t dictate your meeting. Nothing is more boring that just watching someone read off sheet clicking through slides with far too much writing in them.
  6. Timing. Get everyone there on time and follow the agenda. Schedule meetings for specific amounts of time as well, if the meeting is going to take 20 minutes, then have a 20-minute meeting. You don’t have to have meetings in multiples of 30 minutes.
  7. Refreshments. Keep everyone well watered, and if it is first thing in the morning, well coffee’d. An alert group will take in more, and make the meeting pass more quickly.
  8. And last but most certainly not least! The environment. Where you have the meeting can make a huge difference to the productivity of that meeting. Natural light, interesting décor and comfortable furniture are just some of the factors that can make or break a meeting. Take a look at one of our favourite rooms for brainstorming meetings here.

Inside Some Of The Worlds Coolest Offices

From some of the most famous brands in the world, to less-known up and coming companies, Zipcube takes a look into their uber cool office spaces.
‘Where you work determines how you work’ and to get the most out of your team, you need to find a space that really inspires them. So if you think your job is boring, these offices will just make you want to go to work every day. Let’s give a look at the coolest workspaces we’ve found:

Airbnb HQ

Airbnb, the online marketplace for unique accommodation, recreates some of their top listings inside the office! The open office style is used to create a relaxed vibe, and this is also the trigger of lots of daily creative brainstorming sessions between co-workers. Employees are provided with super-healthy organic only lunches prepared by the office’s own specialist chef. The premises also boasts a rooftop terrace, which Co-Founder Nate says has held some ‘pretty epic’ events.

Pinterest HQ

This arty company’s HQ promotes a ‘crafty culture’, with an area specially dedicated to ‘coffee and fresh prints’, which lets employees get creative whilst grabbing their latte.

From the real life giant pin board created by workers, to a fully functioning bar, interior ideas from employees are more than welcome by the Pinterest bosses.

BarkBox HQ

BarkBox moves away from the traditional receptionist greeting at their HQ. Instead, technology is the replacement; guests check in via a built in ipad. The company continues this theme, with more ipads in the kitchen so staff can even re-order coffee if they’re running low! The office is also kitted out with anything a dog could need, so now, everyday is bring your pet to work day for BarkBox employees.

Quirky HQ

Quirky’s office is full of fun, and showcases some of worlds coolest inventions. Each item in the office, from stationary and gadgets, to furniture and kitchenware is made by Quirky applicants who are talented inventors hoping for their work to be manufactured by the enterprise. This video’s definitely worth checking out, especially if your not familiar with Quirky’s work.

YouTube HQ

Being the worlds largest video search engine, and one of the most recognisable brands in the world, its no surprise YouTube managed to pull off one of the novel and fun headquarters you’ve ever seen. You’ll see a rock climbing wall, mini golf, and, yes a giant slide!

Etsy HQ

This Brooklyn-based company definitely practices what they preach. Being an online market places for buyers and sellers of vintage and handmade ‘stuff’, their office is full of items off their own website. New staff are even given £100 to spend on the website, pretty cool right?

Why not take a look at www.zipcube.com to see if you can find the perfect workspace or meeting room to make your day as productive as possible. We also list some spectacular event spaces where you to can hold some ‘epic events’. 

 

Passport to Pitchswag

Pitchswag™ is an online incubator bringing together entrepreneurs, investors, experts and co-founders. Annually they organise Passport to Pitchswag – an event where all those people can meet offline to network, pitch ideas, fundraise and invest. Zipcube have been shortlisted for the Passport 2 Pitchswag Pitch competition and we hope you agree that we would be deserving finalists.

In the world where it is hard to ignore the co-working revolution, where 87% of white collar employees of multinational companies conduct at least part of their work virtually people need a good alternative to the traditional office and conference room onsite. People need Zipcube!

We develop, aggregate and operate an online public market and booking service for meeting and event spaces. Most websites are enquiries sites, you have to wait several hours, sometimes days to confirm a booking. We are a game changer in the room hiring industry.

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Zipcube makes it possible to:

Save time. Book, not just enquire.

Save money. Greater choice offers cheaper alternatives.

Stay productive wherever. 

Get all you need. Gain access to the broadest selection of professional spaces. Amazing places for private offices, meeting rooms, event spaces and even photo shoots.

Get the best price. Only pay for the space you use. No contracts or hidden fees. Zipcube assures full price transparency.

Book hassle free. Book confidently by the hour or by the day. You are in control of where, when, and how you want to work or meet.

We are one of the most innovative startups in the silicon roundabout. Our unique international team is really enthusiastic about what we do and this is why we do it so well!

In our first year Zipcube has already won best start up at Thinking Digital and come second from across Europe at the Pirate pitch. We are backed by UKTI, and Ignite100.

Number of our clients is increasing. Searching and booking time is getting shorter and shorter. We’re growing quickly, we want to grow even quicker. The P2P Pitch Competition prize would help us to expand Zipcube revolution UK-wise.